How to Work with Your Own Learning Style to Study for the ASVAB

By Rod Powers

Individuals learn best in individual ways. Studying for the ASVAB is no different. Some people may learn more quickly by hearing something. For others, seeing something may be the way. Still others may learn best by doing something. No one style of learning is better than another. However, by identifying your dominant learning style, you can adjust your study techniques to your individual learning abilities.

Auditory learners

Auditory learners use hearing to process information. When given a choice, strong auditory learners sit where they can easily hear the speaker and where outside sounds won’t interfere. Some auditory learners sit to one side (on the side of their strongest ear). Many times, auditory learners have an easier time understanding the words from songs on the radio and announcements on public address systems than other people do.

Here are some characteristics of auditory learners:

  • They prefer to hear information.

  • They have difficulty following written directions.

  • They have difficulty with reading and writing.

  • They may not look the speaker in the eye; instead, they may turn their eyes away so they can focus more on listening.

If you’re an auditory learner, keep in mind the following study suggestions:

  • Listen to readings and lectures on CDs or online recordings (when available).

  • Participate in discussions, ask questions, and repeat given information.

  • Summarize or paraphrase written material and record the information.

  • Discuss the material with someone else.

Visual learners

Visual learners need to see the big picture. They may choose a seat where they can see the whole stage or screen. They may like the back seat so everything is out in front and they can see it all. Visual learners survey the scene, like to sightsee, and see the forest despite the trees.

Visual learners share the following characteristics:

  • They need to see it to learn it; they must have a mental picture.

  • They have artistic ability.

  • They have difficulty with spoken directions.

  • They find sounds distracting.

  • They have trouble following lectures.

  • They may misinterpret words.

If you’re a visual learner, follow these suggestions:

  • Use visuals (graphics, films, slides, illustrations, doodles, charts, notes, and flashcards) to reinforce learning.

  • Use multicolored highlighters to organize your notes.

  • Write down directions.

  • Visualize words, phrases, and sentences to be memorized.

  • Write everything down; review often.

Tactile learners

Tactile learners have the need to touch and feel things. They want to feel or experience the lesson themselves. Given a choice, strong tactile learners are right in the middle of the action. They tear things apart to see how they work and put them back together without the directions. Tactile learners immediately adjust the seat, mirror, radio, and temperature when they get in the car.

Here are some characteristics of tactile learners:

  • They prefer hands-on learning or training.

  • They can often put objects together without the directions.

  • They have difficulty sitting still.

  • They learn better when they can get involved.

  • They may be coordinated and have athletic ability.

If you’re a tactile learner, try the following strategies:

  • Make a model, do lab work, role-play, “be the ball.”

  • Take frequent breaks.

  • Copy letters and words to learn how to spell and remember facts.

  • Use a computer to study as much as possible.

  • Write facts and figures over and over.

  • Read and walk, talk and walk, repeat and walk.